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On the Blues

GUEST,clego316@hotmail.com 05 Apr 00 - 04:49 AM
Crowhugger 05 Apr 00 - 07:39 AM
Sean Belt 05 Apr 00 - 10:51 AM
M. Ted (inactive) 05 Apr 00 - 12:56 PM
Jim Krause 05 Apr 00 - 02:04 PM
Steve Latimer 05 Apr 00 - 02:14 PM
GUEST,Neil Lowe 05 Apr 00 - 02:35 PM
GUEST,Neil Lowe 05 Apr 00 - 02:39 PM
GUEST,marcelloblues@hotmail.còm 05 Apr 00 - 08:15 PM
GUEST,marcelloblues 05 Apr 00 - 08:27 PM
M. Ted (inactive) 06 Apr 00 - 12:06 AM
Rick Fielding 06 Apr 00 - 12:43 AM
M. Ted (inactive) 06 Apr 00 - 02:18 PM
Rick Fielding 06 Apr 00 - 02:45 PM
M. Ted (inactive) 06 Apr 00 - 03:03 PM
Bert 06 Apr 00 - 03:08 PM
M. Ted (inactive) 06 Apr 00 - 03:39 PM
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Subject: On the Blues
From: GUEST,clego316@hotmail.com
Date: 05 Apr 00 - 04:49 AM

I would like to know: 1/ Where did the blues in terms of guitar music start? and 2/ How has it developed to modern day blues?


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Subject: RE: On the Blues
From: Crowhugger
Date: 05 Apr 00 - 07:39 AM

For auditory history, look for releases of the early 20th century field recordings made by Alan Lomax. For a written history, I bow to someone who knows far more about blues than do I.

CH


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Subject: RE: On the Blues
From: Sean Belt
Date: 05 Apr 00 - 10:51 AM

There are some pretty good books out there that discuss these questions. I don't have my library close at hand just now. But look for authors Robert Palmer and Peter Guralnick (sp?). They're both pretty decent sources for books on Blues. I am also pretty sure I've seen books by the Lomax's on Blues lyrics and their sources.

Good hunting, clego316!

-Sean


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Subject: RE: On the Blues
From: M. Ted (inactive)
Date: 05 Apr 00 - 12:56 PM

Paul Oliver's "The Story of the Blues" is probably the most complete overall history, but Jeff Todd Titan's "Early Downhome Blues" is very useful for musicians because he does a musical analysis(though not of the guitar parts) and includes transriptions of about 50 songs--

Lomax was far from the first to record blues, (it had been commercially recorded for a long time before his field recorder had been invented) though his book,"The Land Where the Blues Began" is the best book on the blues ever--Unfortunately, he is not very charitable in his opionion of any blues recordings other than his own--those of us who spent large segments of an otherwise mispent youth playing Blind Lemon Jefferson, Charlie Patton, and the rest respectfully disagree with him--

The truth is though, when all this is said and done, there is no really clear answer to your first question--

The answer to your second question is more or less a debate--for my part, I would say that when you listened to the recordings of Lonnie Johnson and Blind Lemon Jefferson from the Twenties you hear the basis of everything that you hear people doing today, and more besides--

There have been many great players since, but the techique and the ideas that people work with are not changed much--


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Subject: RE: On the Blues
From: Jim Krause
Date: 05 Apr 00 - 02:04 PM

Don't forget Charlie Patton.


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Subject: RE: On the Blues
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 05 Apr 00 - 02:14 PM

I would say that it developed into the sound of today when Muddy Waters plugged in to an amplifier so that he could be heard in busy Chicago clubs. Little Walter was in Muddy's band and starting playing harp through an amp. There is that great line in the lame movie Crossroads where old Bluesman says "Muddy Waters invented electricity."

I've often wished I had a time machine so that I could go back and hear Muddy's band live in a Chicago club and Robert Johnson, Son House and Charley Patton playing in a juke joint and Reverend Gary Davis anywhere.


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Subject: RE: On the Blues
From: GUEST,Neil Lowe
Date: 05 Apr 00 - 02:35 PM

Through osmosis,I've gleaned bits and pieces of origin theories over the years. Most of it is debatable, probably none of it is verifiable.

Taj Mahal says it goes back to (who would've guessed it) Africa, before the despicable slave-trading days, and plays a song with an African singer that exhibits elements of the blues..sort of sounds like some of John Lee Hooker's "one chord" songs, e.g., Tupelo Flood.

Leadbelly alludes to it being derived from "field hollers," the lyrics sung by field hands to keep a steady rhythm as they chopped cotton.

Another


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Subject: RE: On the Blues
From: GUEST,Neil Lowe
Date: 05 Apr 00 - 02:39 PM

...sorry ...hit "Submit" by mistake. Meant to hit "Clear," as I realized that what I was commenting on referred to the origins of the lyrical structure, and not on what the thread originator asked.


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Subject: RE: On the Blues
From: GUEST,marcelloblues@hotmail.còm
Date: 05 Apr 00 - 08:15 PM


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Subject: RE: On the Blues
From: GUEST,marcelloblues
Date: 05 Apr 00 - 08:27 PM

Paul Oliver is ok, but there is not an "history & spirit of the BLUES" out of living in IT. Here on the mudcat you can find names such as ROBERT JOHNSON, JLH, MW, BBK, MW, and many others. Livin' in the BLUES is the only way to improve ...

cheers


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Subject: RE: On the Blues
From: M. Ted (inactive)
Date: 06 Apr 00 - 12:06 AM

Steve,

As to electricity, T-Bone Walker began recording with and electric guitar in the late thirties (I want to say '37, but am not quite sure)--T-Bone is the originator of the style that BB King used, and which all good white boys try to emulate--


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Subject: RE: On the Blues
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 06 Apr 00 - 12:43 AM

Yup Mted, and you could go back a little further to "Floyd's guitar blues" with the Mighty Clouds of Joy. Some say it was THE first electric guitar record period.

Course when you're talkin' about blues it's all speculation isn't it? Remember that W.C. Handy swore on a stack of bibles that he INVENTED blues...and Perry Bradford swore even louder that Handy was a Liar..and of course let's not forget that that Jelly Roll Morton told Lomax that HE invented Jazz. Alan may have believed him.

The downside of hitting 50 is obvious, but the upside is I got to hear and meet so many wonderful musicians before they passed. The finest memory of my life? Reverend Gary Davis singing "Death Don't Have No Mercey" under the stars in 1967. He was incandescent!

Rick


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Subject: RE: On the Blues
From: M. Ted (inactive)
Date: 06 Apr 00 - 02:18 PM

I have got to reconnect my turntable--as all of my Reverend Gary Davis stuff is on vinyl and now I've got a jones to hear that song--and you are a lucky so and so to have gotten to hear him in person--

As to speculation and the blues, part of the appeal, to me, anyway, is just that--no one really quite knows where it came from--it sort of appeared--

Handy wrote that he first heard the blues from a street musician on the railway platform near where "the Southern Meets the Dog" and In my more reflective moments, I can see myself on that lonely platform, surrounded by the flat, dusty fields, and then hearing, for the first time, a bottleneck slide across the strings, while a voice moans, "I hates to see that evening sun go down....Oh, Lord!!!"

Ma Rainey had the same kind of story--and so it must have been--the blues was just there--and one day someone just noticed it--


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Subject: RE: On the Blues
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 06 Apr 00 - 02:45 PM

Love it MTed! "The blues was always there...and then someone noticed it". That's wonderful. Maybe we could use the same line for "folk music". Shucks then all the debating would be over.

Rick


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Subject: RE: On the Blues
From: M. Ted (inactive)
Date: 06 Apr 00 - 03:03 PM

Maybe the debating has always been there, too--


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Subject: RE: On the Blues
From: Bert
Date: 06 Apr 00 - 03:08 PM

I suspect that it really started with the Lute and not the Guitar.

Ala-as my Lu-uv you do-oo me wro-ong to cast me o-of dis-cur-tyus-lee

;-)


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Subject: RE: On the Blues
From: M. Ted (inactive)
Date: 06 Apr 00 - 03:39 PM

You mean--

Oh, My Baby, you've done me wrong
To throw me out on the front lawn
At Three Fifteen in the mornin'
You won't even give me my car keys


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